Bamford Watch Department has announced a new official partnership by offering clients a chance to go online and create a personalized version of the diamond-bezel Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye.

The tie-up with Girard-Perregaux is the latest milepost in Bamford’s journey from rogue customizer of luxury watches, through to legit big player in the watch world. The driving force as always has been the endless enthusiasm and eye for detail of Bamford Watch Department’s founder, George Bamford.

Founder of Bamford Watch Department, George Bamford
Founder of Bamford Watch Department, George Bamford

The grandson of Joseph Cyril Bamford – the late construction magnate who made JCB a synonym for digger – George has worked incredibly hard to carve out his own version of the family name, and he has not always gone about it the easy way.

He first became known doing after-market customizations of a Who’s Who of luxury brands, with his signature look being stealth bomber-style blacked-out cases, often of brands that didn’t offer any black watches at all in their line-ups.

The brands were not happy, because in their view nobody should be messing with such perfectly constructed timepieces. The customers, however, were very happy, because not only did the watches look great, but the work was always carried out to the highest standards, and buyers were soon lining up to get hold of watches that had been given the Bamford treatment.

Then Bamford’s work caught the eye of LVMH watch-whisperer Jean-Claude Biver, who saw a lot of lucrative work going on and thought it would be good to get involved. So now you can go onto the Bamford website and cook yourself up personalized black TAG Heuer Monaco, a Zenith Pilot with your initials at 6 o’clock, or a Bulgari Serpenti with a Ferrari-red dial.

George Bamford with the one and only, Jean-Claude Biver at Baselworld 2018
George Bamford with the one and only, Jean-Claude Biver at Baselworld 2018

Girard-Perregaux is the first Kering Group brand to work with Bamford. They decided to launch the partnership, according to Girard-Perregaux CEO Patrick Pruniaux, by taking the opportunity to “re-imagine and customize the iconic Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye model.”

Pruniaux added: “The striking personalization options developed by George Bamford and his team will enhance the contemporary and playful side of this unique timepiece.”

George Bamford said: “We were asked by a client to customize a Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye. We approached Girard-Perregaux to make this work, and they were excited by the challenge. They loved the way we were able to customize the dial through our online personalization technology, and by using our special technique to create a series of really striking dials. The result is a new partnership, and we are looking forward to working with the brand to develop innovative ideas for women watch collectors. This opens up a new path for us to move into a market for us where there is demand.”

The Cat’s Eye is available with 12 different strap colors and dozens of different colors for the dial, hands and dial markings.

BamfordWatchDepartment.com

Technical Specifications

Movement

GP03300-0126 automatic with 46-hour power reserve

Case

35.4mm x 30.4mm stainless steel case; bezel with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds; water-resistant to 30m

Strap

Epi grain leather in a choice of 12 colors

Price

From £12,500